Ohio History Journal

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A native of Ohio who became America's first woman mayor

has been honored at Argonia, Kansas, by a plaque which was

erected through the efforts of Kansas club women and dedicated

on November 10, 1933. Kansas believes in flowers for the living,

so this plaque was unveiled in the presence of Mrs. Susanna M.

Salter, the Ohio-born woman who had made history at the age of

twenty-seven when she was elected mayor of Argonia in 1887.

Susanna Madora Salter was born March 2, 1860, on a farm

near Lamira. Belmont County, Ohio, the daughter of Oliver and

Terissa Ann White Kinsey. Both were of Quaker parentage,

their ancestors having come over from England with William

Penn's colonists on the ship Welcome. The Kinsey family moved

from Ohio to Kansas in 1872 and settled near Silver Lake on an

80-acre farm ten miles west of Topeka.

Susanna attended country schools until 1878, when she en-

tered the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan, Kan-

sas, as a sophomore. There she met Lewis Allison Salter, son of

former Lieutenant Governor Melville J. Salter; she was married to

him September 1, 1880. For a year the newlyweds lived on a farm

near Thayer, Neosho County, Kansas, and then they moved to

Cherryvale where Lewis Salter worked in a hardware store.

Argonia's opportunity to become famous was occasioned by

Salter's accepting a position as manager of the Argonia branch

of Carson & Baldwin of Cherryvale. The Salters' second son,

born February 13, 1883, was the first baby born in the new town

and was named Francis Argonia, the first name being for Mrs.

Baughman, the wife of the doctor who attended. In 1885, Mrs.

Salter's parents moved to Argonia, where Oliver Kinsey and his

son-in-law purchased a hardware store which was operated under

the firm name of Kinsey & Salter. The town of Argonia was